Autumnal Morning: Ginger Panna Cotta, Sweet Potato Cake, Yogurt, Soy Milk Ice Cream, Red Currants, Pecan Gianduja, Beets, and Smoke

Adapted by
December 2013
Yield: 12 servings


Ginger Panna Cotta
1 kilogram cream
250 grams sugar
50 grams finely grated young ginger
15 grams gelatin leaves
Sweet Potato Pudding Cake
2 sweet potatoes
107 grams dark brown sugar
17 grams molasses
25 grams sorghum
3 grams vanilla paste
126 grams eggs
126 grams - all-purpose flour
11 grams baking soda
Soy Milk Ice Cream
210 grams unsweetened soy milk
105 grams PreGel Neutral Soya Base
Pickled Red Currants
500 grams Champagne vinegar
200 grams sugar
100 grams red verjus
4 sticks cinnamon
3 grams cloves
8 grams juniper berries
3 grams coriander seeds
4 grams cardamom pods
200 grams fresh red currants
Red Currant Fluid Gel
500 grams red currant purée
100 grams sugar
4 grams agar agar
2 grams gelatin leaves
Pecan Gianduja
230 grams pecans, toasted
140 grams confectioners sugar
250 grams white chocolate, melted
Purple Beetroot
3 medium sized purple beets
100 grams sugar
5 grams salt
900 grams water
To Assemble and Serve
Goat Lady Tango yogurt
Applewood chips


For the Ginger Panna Cotta:
In a large saucepot combine heavy cream, sugar, and ginger and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and steep ginger in sweetened cream for 15 minutes. (If the ginger is too acidic it may curdle the cream. If this happens transfer the mixture to a blender and purée until smooth and homogenous.) Meanwhile, bloom gelatin in ice water. Strain infusion through a chinois, then add bloomed gelatin, and stir to melt.

Cool the mixture over an ice bath until it begins to thicken slightly and is cool to the touch, then use a fondant funnel or sauce gun to scale the base into the desired container. Lightly torch the surface of the panna cotta to pop any bubbles that may have formed. Refrigerate until fully set.

For the Sweet Potato Pudding Cake:
Heat oven to 350°F. Roast sweet potatoes 1 hour, until soft. Let cool completely before peeling off the skin and puréeing in a food processor. Scale 315 grams.

Turn oven up to 400°F. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and dark brown sugar. When light and creamy add molasses, sorghum, and vanilla paste, mixing until homogenous and smooth. Slowly add the eggs, mixing continuously.

Combine together the flour and baking soda, and sift into butter and egg mixture. Mix until just combined and homogenous. Add the cooled, roasted sweet potato purée and mix thoroughly.

Using a 3 ounce scoop, scale the batter into silicone muffin molds and bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely.

For the Soy Milk Ice Cream:
In a sixth pan combine soymilk and Pregel base. Using a stick blender, blend the mixture for a few minutes to properly hydrate and disperse the base. Process in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.

For the Pickled Red Currants:
In a medium saucepot combine Champagne vinegar, sugar, verjus, cinnamon, clove, juniper, coriander, and cardamom and bring to a boil. Set currants in a heat-proof container. Pour the boiling pickling solution over the currants and immediately cool the mixture over an ice bath.

For the Red Currant Fluid Gel:
In a small saucepot combine red currant purée and 50 grams sugar and heat to a boil. In a small bowl whisk agar into remaining 50 grams sugar. Bloom gelatin in ice water. When puree comes to a boil, whisk in agar mixture and return to a rolling boil. Remove mixture from heat and whisk in the gelatin until fully melted. Pour into a half hotel pan and refrigerate until set. Once set, cut the gel into small cubes and process in a blender until a perfectly smooth gel forms. Transfer gel into a squeeze bottle and refrigerate.

For the Pecan Gianduja:
In a food processor, grind toasted pecans with 40 grams confectioner's sugar until the mixture liquefies. Add the remaining 100 grams confectioner's sugar and white chocolate and mix until homogenous.

Temper the gianduja by tabling the entire batch on a marble slab until the mixture is neutral in temperature. Reserve at room temperature. Once the gianduja has set, roll into large marble sized spheres.

For the Purple Beetroots:
Trim greens off beetroots and trim as desired. In a medium saucepot combine sugar, salt and water and bring to a boil; add beets and cook until slightly tender. Drain and let cool completely. Once cool, carefully peel the skin off each beetroot. Cut into quarters or small wedges.

To Assemble and Serve:
In a small glass terrarium, arrange Ginger Panna Cotta, Sweet Potato Pudding Cake, one sphere of Pecan Gianduja, and a few pieces of Purple Beet. Garnish with Goat Lady Tango yogurt, Pickled Red Currants, and Red Currant Fluid Gel. Set a quenelle of Soymilk Ice Cream on top of cake and panna cotta arrangement. With a smoking gun, pipe applewood smoke into vessel.